Rep. John Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran who caused an uproar on Capitol Hill in 2005 by calling for an end to the war in Iraq, announced Tuesday that he is supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.
Murtha, a Democratic congressman since 1974 is a retired Marine colonel and leading voice on defense issues. He was the first Vietnam veteran elected to Congress. The New York Times writes that his support could help boost Senator Clinton’s argument that she has the best experience to be commander-in-chief.
Murtha is also one of the so-called superdelegates, prominent party officials and elected leaders who can side with any candidate. More have chosen to support Clinton than Obama at this point, but many are still undecided.
Murtha's statement said:
“I’ve known Senator Clinton for fifteen years. I know that she continually reaches out for opinions and ideas not just from our nation’s leaders, but from all Americans.
“In ten months, President Bush will leave office. Our country is worse off today than when he took office over seven years ago.
“Senator Clinton is the candidate that will forge a consensus on health care, education, the economy, and the war in Iraq.
“This week, she highlighted the policy failures in Iraq and addressed the real challenges we face in regards to rebuilding our military, restoring our readiness and fully preparing our armed forces to meet and deter future threats. I know that Senator Clinton has a similar position that I have in regards to the war in Iraq.
“Her experience and careful consideration of these issues convinced me that she is best qualified to lead our nation and to bring credibility back to the White House.
“Therefore, I whole-heartedly endorse her candidacy and recommend to all Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, that they vote for Senator Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.”
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